Quick update – Octover 2016

I have been fairly busy lately, although I can definitely be managing my time better. We are finally wrapping up the price mistake house and in the meantime have closed on 2 more houses and have a 4-plex that is pending sale that will close early December.  We will probably only be able to get one of the houses done and then will start work on the 4-plex. I have also started using my realtor license for others and it has been a nice boost in income; however, it has taken my time away from my rentals so I am not sure if it is worth it. I need to start delegating more and hiring out work in order to get these houses done.

I have been exercising a minimum of 3 days a week. I have actually gained weight since then, but I have been feeling more energetic lately and am gaining strength. I really don’t care what my body looks like or how strong I am in the end, I just want to feel good and be able to play with Tristan when he gets older and not get winded. He just turned 13 months last week and is growing up fast!

Right now the biggest thing holding me back is, of course, myself. I need to better manage my time and get over some mental blocks to realize my true potential. I know that if I just keep on this slow and steady pace I am on I will be fine, but I feel as if I am wasting my potential. I am also trying to reconnect with people and strengthen my relationships because I am bad at keeping in touch and they are so freaking important. It’s easy to fall in the trap of routine and procrastination, but I know I will prevail in the end!


Read time: <7 minutes

Self-worth is the first topic that jumped out in my head after thinking about what to post on here next. I hope to explore questions such as:

  • What is self worth?
  • Where does self-worth come from?
  • How to increase self-worth to OVER 9000 and maintain a true, unshakable sense of self-worth (it’s easier than you think!)

First, let’s tackle what self-worth is. Just googling “self-worth” and the first thing that comes up is: “In sociology and psychology, selfesteem reflects a person’s overall subjective emotional evaluation of his or her own worth. It is a judgment of oneself as well as an attitude toward the self.” I agree with the second part but I see the first part as being way off. I do not see self-esteem as being a reflection of self-worth. I see them as two very different things and just because you have high self-esteem does not necessarily mean you have high self-worth. I want to differentiate between self-esteem and self-worth as I see a lot of people thinking the two terms are one and the same and I see them as quite different.  I see self-worth as a person’s inherent view of themselves, basically how much they value their worth as a person whereas self-esteem is confidence in your abilities which is more extrinsic in nature. Society places a high value on achievements and this extrinsic factor while I believe having a high intrinsic self-worth is better.

In order to talk about where I believe self-worth comes from, it may be easier to first question some common places which people attribute to adding to self-worth.

Does true self-worth come from looks? Oh hell no! And for several reasons. First of all you can’t control your looks besides expensive plastic surgery, and even then your looks WILL eventually fade. If you base your self-worth on how attractive you are, what happens when you are 60+ years old and you lose your attractiveness? Also by basing your self-worth on something you are born with and that is an extrinsic factor, you are basically always comparing yourself to others to maintain your self-worth. What happens when someone comes along that is more attractive than you, which will happen! Even if you are labeled the most attractive person on the planet, that is only a temporary title, you cannot hold onto it forever. By basing your self-worth on something that is outside of your control, extrinsic in nature, and will eventually fade; you are setting yourself up for eventual misery down the road and at the very least, ultimately questioning your self-worth.

Does true self-worth come from your physique? Again, no and I will explain how this differs from looks. Your physique is similar to looks except you have more control over this through proper exercise and nutrition. Looks is your physical level of attraction and physique contributes to this because you can have an amazing body but still be “ugly” according to society’s standards. Again, while it may be a boost to your self-esteem to be disciplined enough to maintain an amazing body, what happens if you “let yourself go”? For any number of reasons; physical injury, sickness, thyroid issues, laziness, depression, age, etc you can lose your figure to any number of reasons. Again, if your self-worth is partly or mostly made up of something extrinsic such as physique, it can all be taken away at any moment.

Does true self-worth come from your talents and abilities? Again no and no! Let’s say you are an amazing piano player naturally. You practice and practice and become one of the best players in the world. By basing your self-worth on extrinsic factors like your piano playing ability, you could lose it all at any moment. This even happened to someone I know. She was an incredible organist but then got a hand issue at a young age which caused her to pretty much lose her ability to play; at the very least severely hamper/limit her current and future ability. This has happened to others as well like sports players who get injured. If they based their self-worth on their abilities, what do you think happened to it once they lost that ability in an instant? Also you are again comparing yourself to others. Even Michael Phelps loses and someone will eventually break his records in everything given enough time.

I feel as if I’m beating a dead horse some, but basically I can name any external factor that people base their self-worth upon and eliminate it because of its extrinsic nature. Money/possessions, relationships, even beliefs and accomplishments can all be taken away at any time and should not be the basis of our self-worth.

If self-worth should not be made up of any of these things, then what CAN self-worth be attributed to? How can we maintain an unshakable level of self-worth despite what happens to us?

The answer comes from within. There is one thing that every single person is best at being in the entire world. The answer is being ourselves. Being our true selves. No one is better at being ourselves than we are. Finding what interests us and makes us happy and being true to ourselves cannot be taken away. Even if someone thinks another person’s interests or quirks makes them weird or uncool or is bad, that is merely an opinion and criticism. It doesn’t change who they are. Discovering and living as our authentic selves and being the best version of ourselves make up our self-worth. It doesn’t compare to anyone else because there will ALWAYS be someone “better” in some way. This is why our self-worth must come from within and from being our true selves, because nothing can take that away from us.

When we stop comparing ourselves to others, we can live as who we truly are and can become the best we can be. No one is better at being themselves. The hardest part in this process is discovering what it means to be true to ourselves and living a life that reflects our most authentic self without reservation. This is no easy task and the vast majority will never experience living with 100% authenticity. We let what others say affect us and influence our decisions.

Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t think having a high self-esteem is a bad thing. It is perfectly fine to be confident with ones’ abilities and achievements and to regard of themselves highly. It’s when we place this false sense of confidence (which can be taken away at any time) as being more important than being true to ourselves is when we have a problem. When we care more about what others’ think, when we change who we are due to someone else’s opinions, when we don’t take our own selves into consideration first, we experience a low sense of self-worth and all the issues that comes with it.

Only you know what makes you truly happy. As long as this happiness doesn’t involve hurting others or taking from them, you should be happy to pursue your interests to the fullest. Once your own needs are met, you are in a much better position to help other people get their needs fulfilled. There is nothing we want more than to get our needs fulfilled and to help others get their needs fulfilled.

So to wrap up, how do we obtain a high sense of unshakable self-worth? Live as your most authentic self. Only you know who that person is. Stop comparing yourself to other people and don’t allow their opinions and criticisms to affect you. Be the best version of yourself you can be. True self-worth comes from within and is not based on anything you can DO. It is based upon BEING. Living every day in the present moment and simply being the person you want to be. That is all any of us can ask. Just because we aren’t a world record holder or gold medalist doesn’t make us any less of a human. Simply being and having a positive impact on the tiny slice of the world that we experience each and every day is enough.

Nonviolent Communication

I want to give a shout out to Michael Collins for sharing this content with me. It has already impacted my life in a hugely positive way in less than 2 weeks time!

I recently watched this 3 hour workshop on nonviolent communication and, wow, what insights have been had through this way of communicating with people. It basically boils things down to all humans have feelings and needs and are simply trying to get them fulfilled. All human beings are ever saying is “please” and “thank you”. Our language and way of thinking has distorted this simple concept in a twisted way. Everyday we could be playing a game called “make life wonderful”, but instead we are taught to play “who is right”. We value being right over being happy and that can be seen in the way we judge others and in our system of rewards and punishments. We reward those who are “right” and punish those who are “wrong”. This is the most ridiculous way of expressing and fulfilling our needs, yet we play this game every single day.

NVC is based on the assumption that people naturally like to give because it makes them feel good. I tend to believe this is true, although in extreme cases like with a psychopath it may not be so. When our needs are fulfilled, there is nothing more that we enjoy than giving freely. The reality is that most people are not getting all or even most of their needs fulfilled and it goes back to playing the game of “who is right” instead of “make life wonderful”.

If I’m being honest, pretty much all of my needs are being fulfilled at the moment. All I can think about is how I want to help others in some way. Whenever I see people lash out or act “negatively” in some manner, all I can see is that their needs aren’t being fulfilled in some way. Anytime you have a conflict or argument with someone, ask yourself if you are playing the game “who is right” instead of “make life wonderful”. More often than not, we evaluate and judge every situation we are in instead of simply observing. We place our moralistic judgments above our needs and the needs of those around us. Every single interaction you have with any person each and every day is a chance to “make life wonderful” for both parties. Every single small interaction you have with strangers or loved ones is a chance to make a difference in their lives. Every interaction is a huge opportunity to be able to get both needs fulfilled in some way. It’s not guaranteed, and in fact, the way we are taught it’s usually win-lose or even lose-lose; but every single interaction with another human is a chance for it to be win-win in some way, even if you are unable to fulfill that person’s need, even helping them see what their need is and that you can empathize with them is a huge win.

I’m going to go off on a tangent, but NVC has helped me see some of these issues more clearly when focusing on feelings and needs. I used to have really bad anger issues. I can now see a huge part of this was having an inflated ego, but also placing being right above all else. I wanted to be right more than I wanted to be happy and only now can I see how miserable I really was. When people would cut me off in traffic I would get hugely offended and pissed off and take it personally. The thing is, humans are imperfect. We all make mistakes, small and big. When you can see each situation for what it really is, it takes out the anger and negative emotion and being personally hurt. The person cut me off for whatever reason, whether they misjudged, are in a hurry, are a bad driver, or countless other reasons – it doesn’t really matter. The situation happened and passed and there is nothing I can do to change what happened. That is fact. All that’s left is how I react. And now, instead of reacting with anger or getting hurt, I say to myself, “that happened (for whatever reason), but it’s ok”. This doesn’t necessarily relate to the nonviolent communication, but it has helped me to see situations for what they truly are and to boil everything down to feelings and needs.

Another thing it has helped me to see clearly is how every single human interaction we have with others is really a reflection on us. Our actions show us what kind of person we truly are. I used to be “a person who gets angry when getting cut off in traffic”. I have made a conscious decision to no longer identify as that person. How often do people get upset or feel the need to be right or place their ego above all else? How many times have you seen a person get mad at a fast food worker when their order is wrong or at a customer service rep on the phone? You are essentially saying “I am a person who gets mad at low level employees and things out of my control”. I can think of countless situations where people make a choice to act a certain way, but it really is a reflection of themselves.

This used to be who I identified as:

  • I am a person who gets mad or upset when others are wrong and I am right
  • I am a person who gets mad or upset when others don’t agree with me
  • I am a person who gets mad or upset when things don’t go MY way
  • I am a person who places being right over being happy

Notice all of these identities are through my own thoughts and actions. My choices make up who I am as a person. Every single day I have a choice to identify as the above person but instead I have chosen to shift my identity to:

  • I am a person who places the happiness and needs of myself and others above all else
  • I am a person who doesn’t judge others, even if I don’t agree with them
  • I am a person who doesn’t react to “bad” situations or when things don’t go my way because I will eventually find a way to get my needs fulfilled
  • I am a person who is not dependent on a single outcome and can see the bigger picture

Keep in mind again, WE decide and identify with the kind of person we truly are. Not other people. I don’t care if someone spits in your face (Atticus Finch is a fucking bad ass!) or wrongs you in some way, how you react to the situation is still up to you and you are choosing to identify with the person you are. Here are some examples maybe some people can relate to:

  • I am a person who yells at their kids or gets upset when they don’t do what I want.
  • I am a person who argues with other people (or even partner!) because I think will be able to change them
  • I am a person who takes things personally when someone else judges or criticizes me
  • I am a person who judges and criticizes others

We choose to be the people we identify as through our thoughts and actions. Things will happen to us both good and bad, and there will be nothing we can do to change what happened. All we can control is how we will react to what happened and that will determine the kind of person we are.

Went off on a bit of a tangent, but NVC has helped me to see the world and people for what they truly are. We all have feelings and needs and are just trying to get them fulfilled. When you simplify things in such a manner, it makes getting everyone’s needs fulfilled so much easier. Everyday we have the power to “make life wonderful” and I hope we all will choose to do so.

Payments and Happiness

I bought my wife her first smartphone yesterday which she is totally digging.  I got it for $100 on ebay, it is a galaxy s4 mini.  When we went to the ATT store, the new S7 was $800 bucks, but since the payment plans seem so reasonable at around $20-30 a month depending on the term, you don’t think anything of it.  Which has lead me to this post…

Specifications-wise, unless you are a true tech junkie or NEED to take HD photos for your photography business or something, most “current” smartphones work just fine for the average user.  My s4 active is still going strong despite the diagonal crack in the screen.  I compared it to the S7 at the store and response time was very close, maybe the S7 would shave a second or two off of loading a page or whatever, have more pixels and a slightly better camera.

The point I am trying to make is the interesting human desire to have the latest and greatest things. ATT got smart with this new payment system. Once you feed yourself into the system, you are, in essence, making payments for life. It’s similar to people needing a big tv, and leasing a car, etc. Just keep making payments for life instead of owning things outright.

ATT got smart because nowadays, sadly, most people cannot just plop down $800 for a phone. But they can make payments. Even (bad) banks will look at how much people can pay, ignoring the true cost of owning a home.

Most people will not become rich because of this desire of having the latest and greatest, instead of being happy with what they have. This is a mindset issue, and a money issue secondarily.  Could I have bought an S7 for me and laura both and paid cash on the spot? Easily. But by not even having the desire for the latest and greatest, being happy with my cracked S4 phone, it helps me make better life decisions all around, whether financial or personal.

People have to learn to be happy with themselves and their current situation. They must completely realize it, accept it, and only then will they be in a position to get more.  The ironic thing is once they are in that position, they will find themselves not wanting it.

Even in MJ Demarco’s book, the Millionaire Fastlane, his goal was to buy a lambo, and he did. While the desire did help fuel his work ethic, eventually he sold it, when he realized he didn’t even want it anymore. To me this is a big leap in mindset, to be happy with what you have, letting go of your ego and the desire to show off, look cool, etc.

Most people go through these stages of life of an insecure teenager seeking approval, getting older and feeling the need to show off and be important, and finally, when they’re old, realizing none of that material shit matters and really focusing down on relationships and learning to be happy with themselves.  Ideally we would get to that point much earlier in life.

I am VERY fortunate to be relatively close to that point already in my early 30’s. I had to get over my anger issues, ego, addictions, and other issues holding me back. If only more people can experience this shift in mindset at younger and younger ages, will they be able to live happier lives, free from the ego, society/media BS, and trying to please people.

This is what I want to help people achieve. I’m still not sure how I am going to do it, but I am trying to come up with this worldview on how life works, the stages of life, and various insights to help people get on the right track at whatever stage in the process they may be.  This is kind of a discombobulated, random post, but I just felt the need to post my thoughts. Once I get more organized I will be able to express myself more clearly and better get my message through to people. I know I have a lot of work to do.

My wife FINALLY got a smart phone. On April 1, 2016. An older one. I still have my old ass phone that I am happy with. What things in your life that you are constantly “upgrading” can you take a step back and realize what you have is just fine? Once you start this shift in mindset, you will, ironically, find more abundance in your life that you won’t even desire.

Epic Fail

So much for getting back into writing. My excuse is I’ve been back in town working on houses and actually getting real work done.  Also, I’m not sure if writing really resonates with me that much. It could just be an excuse, but I’m really not feeling it right now.

I’ve been a little bit conflicted lately with what I want in life.  I am at a crossroad of being comfortable vs. pushing myself. I do know that time is the most valuable thing I have and I do want the most long-term happiness possible. Especially now that I’m a father, I want to be able to spend time with Tristan and raise him properly. I see this as me settling in to being comfortable vs being vastly wealthy and successful, even if I am not living up to my potential.  I also do know that I want to help as many people as I can in whatever way I can. I’m not yet sure how I am going to do this or the medium which I will use – like blogging, podcasts, webinars, a life-changing product or service, etc.  I feel that if I continue growing as a person and being open to all the universe has to offer, everything will happen in its own perfect time and place.

For now, I’m going to continue on the path I’m on, and I am happy with that decision. I am definitely open to other possibilities, but right now I am very happy and am enjoying life to the fullest. A big thing myself and others get caught up with is comparing ourselves to others. I don’t do it too much, but I need to look within for my own purpose. I am on the right path and doing well so for now I’m just gonna keep doing what I’m doing. I do want to keep blogging on here, but no one really reads it so perhaps more of a personal journal kinda thing.

Oh and one last thing, I did upload all my old xanga posts on here, so if you want to read some cringeworthy stuff, it’s amazing to see how far I’ve come as a person.